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The Oregon Resilience Plan: A call to expand the sustainability conversation

Posted on April 8th, by raskin in Blog, Seismic. Comments Off on The Oregon Resilience Plan: A call to expand the sustainability conversation

Edward Wolf, a Portland writer whose books include Salmon Nation (1999, 2003) and Klamath Heartlands (2004), served as a citizen member of the Advisory Panel of The Oregon Resilience Plan.

Edward Wolf has laid down a challenge to the sustainability community to include resilience as part of sustainability in an article in Sustainable Business Oregon.  Ted,  a writer on environmental issues, was drawn into seismic and resiliency when he discovered how seismically suspect the schools his child was attending in Portland were.  He has become an advocate for improving seismic safety in Portland Public Schools and lent his writing talents to the call of creating an resilient Oregon in an op-ed piece in the Oregonian along with Yumei Wang (DOGAMI) and I.  He also was a citizen member of the Advisory Panel of The Oregon Resilience Plan, where he also … Read More »

Washington Resilience Plan

Posted on March 27th, by raskin in Blog, Seismic. Comments Off on Washington Resilience Plan


The State of Washington has released its final report for the Washington Resilience Plan.  This plan also drew its inspiration from SPUR’s Resilient City report for San Francisco.  Since they started their effort before Oregon did, we also drew on the work Washington was doing.  These two state reports are complementary and provide a basis for future collaboration between the states on becoming resilient. To touch on one area, almost all of Oregon’s liquid fuels comes from refineries in Washington in the Puget Sound area.  These refineries, the pipelines that bring the fuel to Oregon, and the fuel storage tanks located in Portland are all at risk during an Cascadia earthquake. Solving this problem needs both States working together along with the other stakeholders to solve.

This collaboration needs to be extended for almost all sectors.  Cascadia is regional event and … Read More »

Oregon Telecom’s and Cascadia

Posted on March 25th, by raskin in Blog, Seismic. Comments Off on Oregon Telecom’s and Cascadia

The Portland Mercury has a good article, Quaking Communications, talking about the vulnerabilities that telecommunication companies in Oregon have in the face of a Cascadia earthquake and tsunami.  While the Oregon Resilience Plan lays out the impacts on telecommunications and makes recommendations for strengthening the systems, the article does point out the difficulty of bringing the telecom’s on board during the process.  Their input is needed going forward, so hopefully they will play a more active role.  Again, while the report shows the rather poor state of affairs now, the point is that it can be improved upon in smart, cost effective, ways.

Note: While the seismic impact on telecommunications was mentioned, it should be noted that fiberoptic cables come ashore along the coast and will be impacted by the tsunami.

Oregon Resilience Plan presented to Oregon Legislature

Posted on March 15th, by raskin in Blog, Seismic. Comments Off on Oregon Resilience Plan presented to Oregon Legislature

The Oregon Resilience Plan was presented to the Joint Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee today.  It is a significant achievement and the start of a new era in Oregon’s efforts to prepare for the Cascadia Earthquake/Tsunami.  Sen. Boquist, the chair of the committee, told OSSPAC, that this the initial overview meeting and the first of many, in which they would examine each chapter of the plan in detail with the goal of finding which recommendations could be implemented this session.

Kent Yu and Jay Wilson, the chair and vice-chair of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC), did the presenation.  They reviewed the origin of the plan, which began with an op-ed in the Oregonian written by Yumei Wang, Edward Wolf and myself which suggested a 10 year resilience plan to prepare for Cascadia.  This was taken up Rep. Deborah … Read More »

Oregon Resilience Plan press conference

Posted on March 12th, by raskin in Blog, Seismic. Comments Off on Oregon Resilience Plan press conference












The release of the Oregon Resilience Plan was officially announced yesterday.  For those who were unable to attend here are a good set of photosthat give a flavor of the event.  The importance of this plan (and a similar one for the State of Washington) cannot be over estimated and marks a milestone in the efforts to prepare for the Cascadia Earthquake and tsunami.

Thursday at 1:00 pm, the Plan will be presented to the Joint Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Christchurch: Nature and Resilience

Posted on March 5th, by raskin in Blog, Seismic. Comments Off on Christchurch: Nature and Resilience

Aerial of Christchurch earthquake damage


Tipped off by a friend, I have been reading a couple of posts by Glenn Stewart, a professor of urban ecology in New Zealand.  The first, Natural Disasters and the Nature of Cities, looks at the destruction the 2010 Christchurch earthquake caused and moves on to look at how the native vegetation has started to grow in the rubble of the aftermath.  This return to nature was due to the shift of using native plants in landscaping prior to the earthquake and to the resiliency of native species.   The second post, added just recently, called Temporary Nature’s Potential for Resilience and Liveability, looks at the local effort of creating temporary gardens in the rubble while waiting for reconstruction to occur (this two years out after the event).  Rebuilding after large disasters takes time … Read More »

Tsunami Interpretative Trail

Posted on February 19th, by raskin in Blog, Seismic. Comments Off on Tsunami Interpretative Trail

The City of Newport has a created a tsunami interpretative trail in the South Beach area.  Coastal communities have been very creative in Cascadia preparedness and this trail is just one among many efforts.  Knowledge about tsunami’s is the key to saving lives and this interpretative trail system should be expanded along the entire Oregon coast.  Places on the coast that show distinctive geological features related to tsunami inundations or subduction zone earthquakes could have interpretative plaques.  Historical plaques can tell of the impact of previous tsunami’s or relate to the folklore of coastal Indian traditions talking about tsunami’s.  These traditions relayed information about what to do when the sea withdrew suddenly (a sign a tsunami is coming) and tied them to geological markers.  In the Clatsop tribe stories, Haystack Rock was an overturned basket and the story reminded listeners … Read More »

The Oregon Resilience Plan Adopted

Posted on February 6th, by raskin in Blog, Seismic. Comments Off on The Oregon Resilience Plan Adopted

The  Oregon Resilience Plan was adopted by OSSPAC and will shortly be on its way to the Legislature.  OSSPAC was tasked by the Legislature with developing this plan in 2011, and with the help of over 150 volunteers, divided into 8 task groups and an advisory committee, produced a report that takes a comprehensive look at the impacts of a Cascadia earthquake and tsunami will have on Oregon, and makes recommendations to reduce that impact. The draft report and the executive summary are available from Oregon Emergency Management (OEM).

The report builds on a conceptual framework developed by the San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR) and a similar effort in the state of Washington.  This framework includes looking at impacts of a scenario 9.0 Cascadia earthquake on business continuity, critical buildings, transportation, energy, water/waste, telecommunications, and the coast.  It … Read More »

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